Nebuchadnezzar and those 80 years

James Ussher's chronology of 1650 and later chronologies have been used extensively in many editions of the King James Bible. They show the fall of Jerusalem as occurring around 586 BC, and followed Ptolemy's secular Canon of Kings (160 AD) - a list which excluded Darius the Mede.

However, about 80 years needs to come off from each year published by Greek historian Herodotus (and later altered for political purposes). It appears Herodotus lived many years later than the period (484 BC - 425 BC) normally allotted to him, and thus when Alexander's teacher Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) refers to Herodotus as a historian — and there appear no personal references to Herodotus's name prior to this — Aristotle was speaking of him as a contemporary. Click here for the four Persian kings that actually followed Cyrus the Great. Click here for a reconciled Greek history.

The early church (and Jewish chronology) were very conscious of Daniel's 69 sevens prophecy that after 70 years of exile in Babylon, which had begun during the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar Jeremiah 25:1-11, Daniel 1:1 the Jews were permitted to return to Jerusalem. There then followed "7 sevens" - of rebuilding the city and the walls - followed by "62 sevens" and then the Messiah would be cut off. Therefore, 70 years + 69 times 7 years meant there must have been 553 years prior to March 31 AD click here when the crucifixion occurred which takes us back to 523 BC (there is no year zero). Thus the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign involved coming to Jerusalem in 524 BC then taking Daniel and the others away perhaps around March 523 BC. Although the year is mentioned, the day and month is not. The destruction of the city occurred in his 19th year, in the month of July/August 506 BC rather than Ptolemy's account of 586 BC.

This introduced an 80 (or so) year discrepancy back to the foundation of the temple, which Ussher recorded as occurring in 1012 BC (instead of 931 BC). However, his use of that year being the "480th year" since the Exodus fails to account for 94 "enslaved" / uncounted years during the period of the Judges, as seen in Paul's account in the Book of Acts click here for these years. So it introduced a nett discrepancy of 14 years (or so) — the Exodus was recorded by him as occurring about 1491 BC (rather than 1505 BC) and Adam created in Oct 4004 BC (rather than Sep-Oct 4019 BC).

PostScript

  1. James Ussher had declared Jesus to have been born exactly 4,000 years after Adam in 4 BC, and showed his crucifixion and resurrection occurring in 33 AD, when Jesus was thus 35½ years old.
  2. A timeline chronology was then put together by an American Baptist preacher named William Miller which acknowledged these dates, and then added a new year, 1844 AD, a year that came 2300 years after 457 BC, William Miller's assumed year for Ezra's return to Jerusalem from Babylon. That year had aligned with 483 years, or 69*7 years prior to 27 BC, James Ussher's assumed thirtieth year of Jesus when he was baptised by John.
    William Miller's "2300" reference came from Daniel 8, an obscure prophetic word about Alexander the Great and then the endtimes "Antichrist" world ruler, who would deceive the world by being able to understand riddles and (for a season) have ongoing prosperity. The scripture had declared that the scripture itself would not be understood until the end time prior to Christ's return. Click here re the "Great Disappointment", many people's subsequent name for that year. William Miller himself then died, five years later.
  3. A follower of his, Ellen G White who helped found the Seventh Day Adventist Church with her husband and another man, adjusted Christ's ministry period from 5½ to 3½ years after that assumed baptism year of 27 AD, placing Christ's crucifixion and resurrection in late April 31 AD (or in early April if using the Julian calendar). But awkwardly for her, as computers show today, there was no 14th day full moon at that time.

Still, interesting

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